Rory McIlroy has been shafted by PGA Tour and forced into bed with LIV Golf

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As well as the hypocrisy, PGA Tour players are clearly unhappy at the lack of communication and consultation, with several immediately taking to social media to express shock at the announcement.

Rory McIlroy

No player has given more of himself publicly to defend the PGA Tour against LIV Golf over the past year. He has repeatedly spoken out in press conferences and interviews, describing the fracture in golf as “out of control” and personally criticising some of those players who jumped ship. “There’s no room in the golf world for LIV Golf,” he said. “I don’t agree with what LIV is doing. If LIV went away tomorrow, I’d be super happy.” The tone, though, noticeably changed over the past month when, having acknowledged that LIV’s emergence had benefited all elite players, he became silent on the spat.

Asked if it was going to be a conscious decision to try to sidestep talking about the issue, he replied simply “yes” and said that he did not know where the sport would be in the future.

McIlroy is understood to have turned down offers in the hundreds of millions to play in LIV Golf events.

Greg Norman

The 68-year-old former Open champion was the public face of LIV Golf last year but conspicuous by his absence from the statement. Indeed, according to Al-Rumayyan, the chair of golf’s new for-profit corporate entity, Norman was only told about the historic deal shortly before it became public.

Norman has become a hugely decisive figure in golf’s civil war, with Woods previously saying there could be no handshake between the sides because first, Norman “has to go.”

The Australian learned of the deal moments before a TV interview aired on CNBC with Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and Al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

“I made a call just before this and of course he is a partner with us, and all the stakeholders that we have with us, they had the call right before this interview,” Al-Rumayyan said.

Norman wasn’t invited to the Masters in April to “limit drama,” according to Augusta National Golf Club chair Fred Ridley. Eighteen LIV golfers competed in the Masters.

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